Life Science Washington Institute (LSWI or LSW Institute), a non-profit 501(c)(3) that supports entrepreneurs across Washington with training, mentoring and connections to funders and strategic partners, has been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Growth Accelerator Fund Grant for the fourth time.
Funding from this grant has allowed Life Science Washington Institute to support the Washington Innovation Network (WIN), a highly-successful mentoring program to help promising enterprises move their ideas forward and develop investible leadership and ventures. With this year’s funding, LSWI plans to lean into their commitment to women entrepreneurs by engaging them earlier in their start-up journey and reducing structural barriers to their participation.
“Life Science Washington Institute is delighted to receive our fourth SBA Accelerator Award. As in recent years, we will use this prestigious award to further engage women in our signature mentoring program, the Washington Innovation Network and other LSW Institute services,” said Dr. Leslie Alexandre, Executive Director, Life Science Washington Institute. “Participation in WIN by women founded or led companies has helped build the foundation of their success, and to date those companies have raised over $682 million, more than two-thirds of the funds raised by WIN-mentored companies since the program began,” she continued.
The U.S. SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst programs recognize the nation’s most innovative organizations with inclusive approaches towards supporting entrepreneurs in research and development. This year, the U.S. SBA Administrator announced 84 winners for the GAFC and eight winners for the SBIR Catalyst competition, with recipients receiving a combined total of $5.4 million in awards.
Competitors for both tracks were required to submit a presentation deck and a 90-second video to describe their overall plan for an award, including their work with targeted entrepreneur groups, experience with STEM/R&D, and implementation plans for the prize funds. Applications were judged by panels of experts from the private and public sector with experience in early-stage investment, entrepreneurship, academic programs, start-ups, and economic development.